“Locked and loaded”: President Trump continues war of words with DPRK

World Today

Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump plan to speak by phone, Friday, about the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula. The call comes after a steady stream of escalating rhetoric between Pyongyang and Washington.

CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.

U.S. President Trump continues to turn up the heat on DPRK leader, Kim Jong Un. Hours after taking to Twitter to warn Kim the U.S. is “locked and loaded,” he spoke out again to reporters.

“If he does anything with respect to Guam, or any place else American territory or American ally, he will truly regret it. He will regret it fast,” Trump said.

Trump also tweeted a reminder that a U.S. fleet of B-1 bombers stands ready for action at a base in Guam. The U.S. aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ronald Reagan has returned to the region.

For its part — Pyongyang is revealing few military movements, but dialing up its rhetoric — accusing Trump of bringing the peninsula to the brink of nuclear war.

Meantime, many in the international community are calling for calm.

“I don’t envision a military solution to this conflict but rather consistent work as we’ve observed at the United Nations Security Council,” Angela Merkel, German Chancellor said.

China’s foreign ministry released a statement reading in part: “China hopes that all related parties could watch their words and actions and refrain from an old path of flaunting powers and raising tensions.”

On Friday, Trump met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Both successfully coordinated last week’s unanimous U.N. security council vote to further sanction Pyongyang.

Meanwhile — the top US general landed in Hawaii on his way to pre-planned meetings with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, next week.

Even as the rhetoric increases, there are reports that a diplomatic backchannel established between Pyongyang and Washington is alive and well.

The Associated Press reports that the channel – set up to secure the release of U.S. student, Otto Warmbier, back in June, is still being used by U.S. diplomat Joseph Yun and a DPRK envoy. According to the AP, they are meeting at the DPRK U.N. mission in New York.